Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that legislation to shield special counsel Robert S. Mueller III from being fired is still not on the Senate agenda.
“It’s not going to come up because it isn’t necessary,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a retiring Republican, had said Thursday that he would be making another unanimous consent request along with Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons trying to get a bill to provide a degree of protection to Mueller.
Watch: McConnell Does Not Intend to Bring Mueller Protection Bill to Senate Floor
The new urgency from some senators came as a result of President Donald Trump dismissing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, putting Matthew G Whitaker into the role of acting attorney general. It appears that Whitaker is now overseeing the Russia probe.
But McConnell emphasized his view that congressional action is not required to protect the integrity of Mueller’s work.
“It’s not necessary. The Mueller investigation is not under threat,” McConnell said Friday at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. “The president’s said repeatedly he’s not going to dismiss the Mueller investigation. He’s said repeatedly it’s going to be allowed to finish. That also happens to be my view.”
“As you can imagine, we speak frequently, and there’s never been any indication that he wants to dismiss Mueller or the investigation. It’s going to be allowed to finish,” he said.
McConnell said the Senate would begin work processing the nomination of a new attorney general as soon as a name is sent over for advice and consent.
“The president decides who serves in the cabinet. They serve at his pleasure. He’s decided to make a change, and we’ll take a look at who he sends up,” said McConnell.